Liberty Planet Weblog

The Outdated Vet Vaccination Advice That Can Harm Your Pet

Posted on: July 7, 2013

By Dr. Becker

Two years ago, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) canine vaccination task force updated their vaccination guidelines. The task force changed the previous annual protocol for core vaccines to an every 3-year protocol, with the exception of 1-year rabies shots. (In many states you can choose either a 1-year or 3-year rabies vaccine for your pet. If you choose a 1-year shot, or if your state doesn’t offer a 3-year vaccine, the annual protocol is required by law.)

The task force also acknowledged in the updated guidelines that for non-rabies core vaccines, immunity lasts at least 5 years for distemper and parvovirus, and at least 7 years for adenovirus. This means that even the updated 3-year protocol is overkill.

Veterinarians who are vaccine minimalists, and certainly I am one of them, viewed this protocol change as a small step in the right direction. We feel re-vaccinating pets against diseases they are already immune to poses significant and unnecessary health risks.

Why Are 60 Percent of Vets Still Doing Annual Re-Vaccinations?

Sadly, despite the new guidelines that are now two years old, members of the traditional veterinary community have been slow to adopt the new recommended protocol. According to Mark Kimsey, a DVM who works for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., a veterinary pharmaceutical company, “Basically, what we’re seeing is there’s a gradual trend toward three-year protocols.”

Dr. Richard Ford, a DVM who is on both the AAHA canine vaccination task force and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) feline vaccination advisory panel, agrees with Kimsey. “It’s a slow change,” says Ford. “Most practices still recommend annual vaccinations. All the vet schools are teaching triennial vaccinations.”

Ford believes, based on feedback from vaccine manufacturer sales reps, that 60 percent of veterinary practices are still re-vaccinating on an annual rather than every 3-year basis. “Some acknowledged the reality and changed their protocols, while others, fearing loss of a major source of revenue, argued against anything other than the time-honored paradigm: annual boosters,” said Ford.

It appears there’s no shortage of vets out there willing to openly admit they don’t want to lose the income from unnecessary vaccinations and new, safer protocols be damned. Hopefully you’re not taking your own pet to a veterinarian with a similarly misguided, dangerous practice philosophy.

Continue reading at Mercola

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